July 4th: So many feelings of gratitude and overwhelm arose today as I moved between and through, in and out of, asanas. I couldn’t exactly tell if my heart was full of joy or if it was full of sorrow. I felt an intense sense of gratitude for the practice itself and even moreso a gratitude for the freedom to practice. For the freedom to create my own life, my next adventure, the days plans. For the freedom to breathe with peace, to tap into my center, to feel grounded in my practice regardless of the external factors around me. For the freedom to move from trikonasa to warrior 2, from downward dog to pigeon pose. When I began reflecting on my freedom I thought of those who do not enjoy the same freedom, both here at home in the good ole U.S. of A and around the world. I thought of the Saudi Arabian exchange students in my class who are forbidden to drive a car in their country simply because they are women and I wondered how they felt driving here, if they felt empowered or perhaps if they felt scared or ashamed. I thought of those oppressed here at home, those living in food deserts, urban ghettos, and under overpasses. I thought of the millions of women worldwide who live in fear, fear of their spouse, fear of the night, fear of assault, rape, and incest. This is why I couldn’t tell if my heart was full of joy or sorrow…and I wondered if perhaps the freedoms I am able to exercise each and every day are at the expense of another’s freedom. Reminds me of a quote from Freud: Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
Some great quotes on peace and freedom. Enjoy.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.
― Hafsat Abiola
Human Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.
― The XIVth Dalai Lama
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace
― Jimmy Hendrix
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
― Nelson Mandela
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
― John Muir
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
― Lao Tzu
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
― Mother Theresa
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
― Mahatma Gandhi
And the turtles, of course…all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
― Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories